'Compassionate release' of terrorist mouthpiece Lynn Stewart
The attorney who was convicted of passing messages to the outside world for "The Blind Shiekh" has been granted early release from prison.
Lynn Stewart was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2005 for acting as a go-between for Omar Abdel-Rahman, carrying messages to his supporters in Egypt. Rahman was convicted and given a life sentence in 1996 for seditious conspiracy connected to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
In jail, Rahman used Stewart to pass messages to, and also to end a ceasefire by, an Egyptian jihadi force that he had created. The force is called "The islamic Group," or the GIA, for its Arabic name, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya. Rahman is still popular among jihadis, partly because his jihadis killed so many Egyptian security forces, Egyptian Christians and western tourists.
Rahman was legally residing in New York when he persuaded immigrant Muslims to carry out the first Twin Towers attack.
Jihad expert Peter Bergen has said Abdel Rahman was the "spiritual guide of 9/11," because he was a credentialed Muslim cleric who provided an Islamic rationale for bin Laden's 2001 attack. From his U.S. cell, Rahman urged Muslims to "kill them in the sea, on land and in the air."
In 2013, Egypt's islamist president, Mohamad Morsi, asked Obama to release Rahman from jail, as did the brother of Al Qaida's current leader, an Egyptian named Ayman al Zawahiri.
Prior to Morsi's rule, the GIA formed an Islamic political party that worked with Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement to draft an Islamic constitution for the country. Similar to many constitutions imposed by progressive and left-wing governments, the Islamic constitution sought to create a heaven on Earth. As required by orthodox Islam, it created an apartheid-like legal system that relegated Christians and women to a subordinate place.
One of the GIA's leaders was appointed by Morsi as an Islamist governor of a southern province. Rahman's followers also organized the 2012 riot and attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to help win his release. Morsi was deposed in 2012, despite support from Obama.
Stewart has made a career of working for left-wing and progressive clients, including Rahman and members of the Black Panther and the Weather Underground terror groups.
The left-wing lawyer told the Washington Post that she choose to defend Rahman because "my own political sense tells me that the only hope for change in Egypt is the [Islamic] fundamentalist movement."
Stewart got an assist from the Obama administration's Bureau of Prisons:
[Judge] Koeltl had earlier denied a request for her release, but changed his mind after pressure from Obama's Bureau of Prisons and from his appointee, Preet Bharara, the federal U.S. attorney in Manhattan.
Bharara is a former aide to New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, and a likely future candidate for political office. His leading role among Democrats was reinforced when Time magazine put him on its front cover in 2012.
Early release from prison should be based at least in part on the rehabilitation of the prisoner. Stewart has never expressed remorse for her actions, nor has she denounced her client's actions and words. That should have been enough to keep her locked up for the rest of her life.
Instead, she gets 18 months of freedom while the Sheikh's victims are still being mourned by their families. This is a cosmic injustice for which the Obama administration should be truly ashamed of itself.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky